Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa and Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has granted an exparte order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from disqualifying the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in today’s Bayelsa State elections.
The three-man Appeal Court panel led by Justice A. O. Lokulo-Sodipi also restrained the INEC from executing the orders of Federal High Court remove the name and logo of the APC and its governorship candidate, David Lyon, for the governorship election.
Justice Lokulo-Sodipi, in a ruling yesterday, held that the panel abides by the decision made by Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which compelled INEC to maintain status quo from the September 18, 2019, when the matter was instituted, pending the determination of motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The Appeal panel, thereafter, ordered that applicants should serve all the respondents notices and other processes before adjourning till November 21, for mention. Speaking to newsmen shortly after the proceedings, counsel for the governorship candidate of APC, Michael Numa, welcomed the decision of the appellant court, which, he said, has given the APC and its governorship candidate, the opportunity to participate in Bayelsa State governorship poll.
Similarly, counsel for APC, Sydney Igbanichuka, said that the position of the Court of Appeal would give opportunity to correct every wrong in the decision of the Federal High Court in Yenagoa, the state capital.